Since our last edition
What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
- Arkansas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) added first responders to the list of individuals currently able to receive a vaccine. Hutchinson also said the second (next) phase of vaccinations would include residents over the age of 70. Previously, the state planned to vaccinate individuals over the age of 75 in the second phase.
- Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): The state’s Allocations Subcommittee made recommendations for Phase 1B of vaccine distribution. The subcommittee recommended the vaccine should be available to school staff, essential frontline workers (including grocery store workers, police officers, and food service workers), residents over the age of 75, and individuals who live or work in prisons and homeless shelters.
- Indiana (Republican trifecta): Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) is lifting the Dec. 16 ban on non-emergency, elective surgeries on Jan. 6.
- North Carolina (divided government): On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Cooper announced he was activating about 50 National Guard members to assist in the vaccine rollout. Some of the members will be involved in logistics planning, while others will assist with physical vaccinations.
- Texas (Republican trifecta): On Jan. 5, Trauma Service Area Q, which includes the city of Houston and is one of several regions used by the Texas Department of Health and Human Services to assess COVID-19 spread, passed the seven-day hospitalization threshold requiring stricter restrictions. The restrictions, laid out in Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) Oct. 7 executive order, include a ban on elective surgeries and indoor service at bars and a reduction to 50% capacity for most businesses. COVID-19 patients will need to comprise less than 15% of total hospital capacity in the region for seven consecutive days to return to the previous phase.
- Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Tuesday, Jan. 5, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced “Healthy Washington,” a new plan for lifting coronavirus restrictions that will go into effect Jan. 11. The new two-phased plan, which divides the state into eight regions, replaces the current county-level reopening plan. Each region begins in Phase 1, which limits capacity at gyms and prohibits indoor dining and at-home indoor gatherings with people outside the household. Phase 2 eases restrictions, which includes allowing restaurants to reopen at 50%.